Thursday, March 31, 2016

Checking out the wildlife

Back garden showing new feather-like leaves of the Sea Cycas (Cycas rumphii) at center of picture
Location :  Back garden

 Came back to Kuching on the 29th of March ( the second time this month) for a short stay before embarking on a journey to KL.  Checking out the garden I noticed that the grounds are wet and this has been especially so for the last month.  It seemed that despite the drought in Peninsular states resulting in water shortage, Sarawak especially Kuching has had no similar nasty experience the first three months of the year. A short walkabout found the common wildlife are still there - birds, grasshoppers and dragonflies.  The Brown-throated Sunbird was seen piercing at the base of the Bignonia magnifica flower to have direct access to its nectar. The Chestnut Munia are easily spotted throughout the day as they busy making their homes in the garden especially at the bamboo clump.  Finally the typical Kuching bird - the Pied Triller was at the Tabebuia rosea tree perching briefly as if to greet me on my return.

Brown-throated Sunbird and the purple flower of the  Bignonia magnifica

Pied Triller at the Poui tree ( Tabebuia rosea)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wildlife at the back garden and green thoughts

An everday sight at the back garden

Olive-backed Sunbird
 Staying close to nature is my favourite pastime. There are many side interests that enhance this experience like a hobby in wildlife photography, birding, painting, bloom hunting and gardening.  It does not matter whether you have a tiny plot of land in your urban house setting or a large space to work with.  There are ways to attract wildlife in all its diversity to call your garden home.  Don't worry excessively about climate change. since  this is a global phenomena that only your government can attempt to solve on G2G basis.  Do your little bit to solve the biodiversity issues by using your hands to create a little green eden around your immediate surrounding - your tiny spot in this big blue planet.  We can act as an individual to act on protecting biodiversity by having a garden space around where we sleep before the night curtains fall.  And when the morning breaks, go step outside the garden and enjoy the fresh air and leaves to refresh your eyes.  This is what is relevant at the local level , you as an individual can do to protect and encourage more wildlife and greenery in urban settings. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to solve the climate change problem. Just do what is relevant as an individual.  The birds, bees and butterflies need you. If there are not around  there will be no germination, no forests and clean air. So, start living naturally by  letting go your green fingers.  You'll be surprised to know along the way how you need the wildlife and greenery more than you could possibly  imagine.
Back garden - view from the kitchen.

Olive-backed Sunbird, male of the species

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Free flowering purple orchid

Free flowering purple orchid.  This bloom will last between 1 - 2 months.
Location : Kuching garden - back

Thinning out the side garden

Side garden, next to car porch.

Blood Banana - against the sun
 The side garden next to the car porch needs thinning out.  This morning after the drizzle fizzles out I started to remove some plants that have overgrown unruly by the side garden.  Some of the plants have been hidden in plain sight are in  need to be exposed of their characteristics to be enjoyed.  The Blood Banana (Musa sumatrana) came out in dark red spots. Two varieties of the cordyline (Ti tree) showed how attractive leaves can be to enlighten the green wash.  The variegated leaves come in red, cream and bronze colours.
Variegated leaves of the Cordyline fruiticosa (Ti tree)
Synonymn : Cordyline terminalis
family : Agavaceae - Agave family

Red Ti or sometimes called Cordyline 'Fire Brand'

Blood Banana - Musa sumatrana
Family : Musaceae - Banana family

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Kambatik garden in Pink Deluxe

Front garden

 It is indeed a pleasure and beauty to the eyes to watch the Ixora coccinea  bush flowering  well at the front garden.  There are many varieties or cultivars of this species.  There are hardy flowering plants for the Laman Kambatik or the Malaysian garden.  The ixoras belong to the Coffee family (Rubiaceae) and they produce lots of berries.  The best thing a gardener could do is to just let the plant grow naturally without too much pruning or 'shaping' or 'boxing' it.  One species that should be grown in the Kambatik garden is the Ixora javanica because this species like the open sun, grows to a moderate human height and having brilliant orange as well as red flowers.  It is also easy to propagate from cuttings.  Check out more plants for the Kambatik garden belonging to the Coffee family here.
Ixora javanica 'Pink Deluxe'
Family - Rubiaceae - Coffee family